Community – noun. The people with common interests living in a particular area.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
Once upon a time I lived in a rural area in which most of the neighbours knew each other. If someone new moved in, it wasn’t long til there was some information about who they were and where they had come from. Over time though, that changed. It became less rural and more, bedroom community; an easy commute for those working in the city.
As a long time resident of the area I realized that not knowing the neighbours, was troubling. The properties were not so close as to lean over the fence and have a chat, there was usually a field in between. I had, however, always felt that if needed it would be appropriate for me to stop in and ask for a hand should I need it. This change felt like a loss.
Change and transition does feel like loss and yet, there is also opportunity, if you choose to look for it.
While we can’t hold back change, we can decide how we will meet it. I decided that what was most important to me was a sense of community. I thought this might also be so for both old and new residents of the area. So, with that in mind, I decided bringing people together over food, would be the way for folks to meet each other and begin the transition back to neighbourhood.
I had no way of knowing if it would be a success, but there was little risk and lots to gain.
It was better than what I could have hoped. There was excellent response, with everyone embracing the low key and low stress event. Pot luck, bring your own lawn chairs and beverages. Old and new mingled and had a chance to get to know each other. A tradition was born, with a yearly event, held at someone’s home each year. A community was re-born.
It is easy enough to feel isolated and apart, especially when we move or our families grow up and create their own lives. This is transition, this is life. Want something different than what you have? Be the change, you won’t regret it. I haven’t.